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Thriller

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“Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979, dir. Werner Herzog)

Horror films are a difficult thing to peg down. They often are so sloppily put together and so cheap that they tend to be nothing more than C and B movies. On top of that, Werner Herzog movies are difficult to nail down. His films are unlike anything that any other filmmaker creates. The combination of … Continue reading

Favorite 2016 Movies

I didn’t get to see as many new movies in 2016 as I would have liked (there’s one movie I went to see but didn’t get to — I’ll save that story for here in a minute), but of the movies that I did see, five came forward in my mind as my favorites. There are … Continue reading

“The Lady From Shanghai” (1947, dir. Orson Welles)

The classic film-noir character of the femme-fatale was never a key figure in the films of Orson Welles. His films tended to focus on larger than life characters who led themselves into destruction, but Welles’ off-screen relationship with Rita Hayworth led him to plant her in the very midst of The Lady From Shanghai. In a … Continue reading

The Films of Christopher Nolan: “Memento” (2000)

Now comes one of the major revelations of the past twenty years. If Following was Nolan’s rough but fun first try and a feature, then Memento is the bang-up second film that cements him as a serious filmmaker and voice for his generation. Memento is a baffling film. It is set mostly in hotels, seedy bars and alleyways, … Continue reading

The Films of Christopher Nolan: “Doodlebug” (1997) and “Following” (1999)

Christopher Nolan, the British-American filmmaker mostly known for his Batman trilogy, is a filmmaker of spectacle and practicality. His films are associated with huge action sequences, IMAX theaters and film, and the limits of the human mind. Yesterday the teaser trailer trailer for his new film, Dunkirk (July 2017), hit the internet. This got me to thinking … Continue reading

“Shock Corridor” (1963, dir. Samuel Fuller)

A few years back I was on a kick of watching the original series of The Twilight Zone. I’ve recently picked the show back up again, but that’s another issue for another day. During that time I saw the film Vampyr (1931, dir. Carl Th. Dreyer), and I wrote a short film called On Dear Ears (2015, dir. … Continue reading

“Shadow of a Doubt” (1943, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Hitchcock left behind a rather eclectic and large body of work. Among those films he often said Shadow of a Doubt was his personal favorite. In this film Hitchcock ramps up the tension and puts every single technique for which he is known to the test. The film mainly concerns a young girl, Charlie (Teresa Wright), … Continue reading

“No Country for Old Men” (2007, dir. The Coen Brothers)

As of late I’ve been trying to fill in blind spots in my film-viewing which (for instance, the James Bond series), and the films of the Coen Brothers are one of those blind-spots. I was only introduced to their films a few months ago when my uncle showed me Miller’s Crossing (which I really need to see again) and The Hudsucker … Continue reading

“Bondathon, pt. 1: Sean Connery” (1962-1971)

Before last week I had never seen a single James Bond movie before. Not a one. I knew the cliches of the series (one-liners, Bond sleeping with everything that wears a skirt, goofy spy plots) and even had some iconic moments in my mind (the woman who died of being painted gold, for instance), but … Continue reading

103 years of Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998)

No other filmmaker has had as quite the influence on me at a personal level as Akira Kurosawa. His films are deeply personal and have completely changed my perception of not only what cinema can be but what it is. Akira Kurosawa had a career spanning fifty years and covered not only a range of … Continue reading

Noir, Dirt Cheap: “Following” (1998, dir. Christopher Nolan)

Christopher Nolan’s first feature-film, Following, serves as proof of what one can achieve during the making of a “no-budget” film. Cobbled together on weekends when actors were available, Following has the rough-around-the-edge look of a French New-Wave film, but manages to be just as menacing and elaborately structured as Nolan’s more well-known films Memento and The Prestige. Bill is a writer … Continue reading

An End of the World Triple Feature

With all of this Mayan calendar talk that’s been going around for months (years?), I decided to spend my “last night on earth” watching movies (after all, what else am I going to do on a Thursday night?), and the obvious choice of theme for the night was Apocalypse movies! So last night I sat … Continue reading

“The Tell-Tale Heart” (1953, dir. Ted Parmelee)

After a short absence from the blog I bring you a gift: one of my favorite short animated films, which is based on one of my favorite short stories. James Mason plays the unnamed narrator in this wonderful adaption of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”. The animation, while sparse, is haunting and serves the material … Continue reading

Self-Destruction to Impress a Girl: “Pale Flower” (1964, dir. Masahiro Shinoda)

Maruki has only been out of prison few hours when he goes to a gambling house in hopes of reconnecting with his fellow Yakuza in one of the city’s three gangs. While there he spots something out of the ordinary: a girl, probably in her twenties, gambling with the men; her name is Saeko, and … Continue reading

The Best Bad Idea Ever: “Argo” (2012, dir. Ben Affleck)

When Antonio Mendez and Jack O’Donnell go to the heads of the CIA to present the final form of their plan for rescuing six people who have escaped from a captured US embassy and are living with a Canadian ambassador, the CIA heads ask them if they could have come up with a better bad … Continue reading

“M” (1931, dir. Fritz Lang)

Summarizing Fritz Lang’s masterpiece “M” is a near impossible task. The film is just short of two hours (117 minutes, to be exact), and yet leapfrogs through so many genres and styles during that time that pinning down exactly what “M” is proves to be difficult. The film opens with the sound of children playing … Continue reading

The Problem with Time Travel: “Looper” (2012, dir. Rian Johnson)

I am going to keep this review spoiler free. *pinky promise* Rian Johnson’s third feature film**, “Looper”, is a film that can only be described as tragically okay. It isn’t good enough to be great; neither is it bad enough to be terrible. It manages to fall decidedly into the middle as a movie that is entertaining enough, but falls … Continue reading

“The Prestige” (2006, dir. Christopher Nolan)

Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” is an interesting film in that I could tell  you how it ends and yet in the act of watching it you would still have no idea what was going on. The first time I watched the film I was left decidedly baffled as to what I had just seen. Was … Continue reading

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